Daily Current Affairs - 11th Jun 2017

Altis Invitational Meet: Siddhanth qualifies for Worlds

  • Indian sprint hurdler Siddhanth Thingalaya broke his own national record at the Altis Invitational Meet in the US and qualified for the World Athletics Championships to be held in London. The 26-year-old clocked 13.48s, the time which is also the entry standard for the London Worlds, as he won the event in Arizona, and broke his national record of 13.54s set a year ago at the same venue.

Australia knocked out of Champions Trophy by England

  • Ben Stokes hit a career-best 102 not out and captain Eoin Morgan 87 as England knocked Australia out of the Champions Trophy with a 40-run win over its arch-rival at Edgbaston. England collapsed to 35 for three chasing 278 for victory before left-handers Morgan and Stokes changed the course of the game with a fourth-wicket partnership of 159 off 158 balls.
  • Earkier, Australia scored 9 for 277 from 50 overs — with Mark Wood and Adil Rashid taking four wickets apiece.

Centre awards contract for completion of Kaladan project in Myanmar

  • The Union government has awarded a Rs 1,600-crore contract for constructing 109-km road connecting Paletwa river terminal to Zorinpui in Mizoram border as a part of the $484-million Kaladan multi-modal transport (KMTT) projects in Myanmar which will offer connectivity to Mizoram.
  • Kaladan multi-modal transport projects was the first major project undertaken by the Indian government in Myanmar.
  • KMTT is essentially a multi-modal transport project having three different stretches involving shipping, Inland Water and road transport stretches. The longest among them is Shipping segment from Kolkata to Sittwe port in Myanmar.
  • Government of India is funding this project and it is considered as an important investment of India in its neighbourhood.

EU, France give 3.5 Million Euros as Grant to Curb Emissions in India

  • With an aim to reduce emissions and promote sustainability to help India’s smart city programme, France and the European Union has extended a grant of 3.5 million euros under the ‘Moblise Your City’ (MYC) initiative.
  • Three Indian cities -- Nagpur, Kochi and Ahmedabad -- will get the grant as part of the EU’s commitment under the Paris Climate agreement.
  • More funds would be provided to India as loan to take forward the smart city and sustainable transport initiatives in the three cities on pilot basis.
  • The MYC, supported by the French and German government, also has financial support from the European Union (EU).
  • MYC aims to extend help to 100 cities globally to reduce Green House Gas (GHG) emissions by promoting sustainable urban transport and to promote sustainability in urban spaces.

French President Emmanuel Macron's party expected to obtain Parliamentary majority

  • In France, the centrist party of French President, Emmanuel Macron looks on course to win a landslide victory following the first round of Parliamentary elections. Projections show President's La Republique en Marche (LREM) and its MoDem ally set to win up to 445 seats in the 577-seat National Assembly.
  • With 97 percent of ballots counted, Mr Macron's LREM and MoDem had won more than 32 percent of the vote while the centre-right Republicans got just under 16 percent with a predicted 80-132 seats.

Gopi Chand to continue as chief National coach

  • P. Gopi Chand will continue as the chief National coach, Badminton Association of India (BAI) secretary confirmed. The decision was conveyed at the end of a BAI Executive Committee meeting. The association held a lengthy discussion on how to modify its constitution in order to adhere to the National Sports Code. The National Sports Code, coupled with the Lodha Commitee recommendations, has to be implemented.

India moves WTO against US

  • India has moved the World Trade Organisation (WTO) against the US as it has not yet complied with the rulings of the WTO pertaining to imposition of high import duty on certain Indian steel products.
  • In December 2014, the WTO’s appellate body pronounced a ruling against the act of US which is imposing high import duty on certain Indian steel products. It had ruled that the imposition of import duty on steel products was inconsistent with various provisions of the Agreement on Subsidies and Countervailing Measures.
  • In order to comply with the WTO rulings on countervailing duties on imports of hot-rolled carbon steel products from India, the US needs to amend its domestic norms.

India's Forex Reserves reach Life Time High of $381.167 billion

  • According to the central bank RBI, India’s foreign exchange (Forex) reserves have increased by $2.404 billion to touch a lifetime high of $381.167 billion in the week that ended on June 2. The increase was due to increase in foreign currency assets (FCAs).
  • FCA are maintained as a multi-currency portfolio comprising major currencies, such as, US dollar, Euro, Pound sterling, Japanese yen, etc. and are valued in terms of US dollars.
  • India's Foreign Exchange Reserves components include: Foreign currency assets (FCAs), Gold, Special Drawing Rights (SDRs) and RBI’s Reserve position with International Monetary Fund (IMF). Out of all the components, FCAs constitute the largest component of the Forex Reserves.

India, Israel set to expand defence ties

  • India and Israel are close to concluding a deal for Spike Anti-Tank Guided Missiles. This will be the latest in a series of big-ticket defence deals approved recently. The purchase of Spike missiles was approved by the Defence Acquisition Council (DAC) in October 2014, but negotiations on the contract ran into trouble over cost and technology transfer.
  • The Rs.3,200-crore deal includes 8,000-plus missiles, 300-plus launchers and technology transfer. The deal is likely to expand as the Army intends to equip its 382 infantry battalions and 44 mechanised regiments with new missiles.
  • Recently, India and Israel completed 25 years of their diplomatic relations. Israel has emerged as one of the largest and trusted suppliers of defence equipment to the Indian armed forces, which rely heavily on imports.
  • Israel is known in the areas of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles, air defence systems, special forces equipment and electronic warfare equipment.

IOC approves new events for Tokyo Olympics

  • The International Olympic Committee (IOC) approved new events for the 2020 Tokyo Games, including a number of mixed-gender competitions. The new events were added to reflect the IOC’s focus on gender equality and appeal to young people. The Tokyo Olympics would include 321 events which is an increase from 306 events held at Rio 2016.
  • Mixed-gender events in athletics, swimming, table tennis and triathlon have been approved for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.
  • The Games will include a 4x400m mixed relay in athletics and a 4x100m medley mixed relay in swimming. Other additions include a mixed relay in the triathlon and a mixed doubles in table tennis.
  • The additions include a mixed team event for judo. Each team will consist of 3 men and 3 women, all representing different weight classes. Table Tennis will also get a mixed doubles competition
  • In Tokyo, the number of mixed events will double from nine in Rio 2016 to 18. All new events will make use of existing venues.
  • Five new sports sports climbing, skateboarding, surfing, baseball, softball and karate were already added to the Tokyo 2020 programme last year.
  • Los Angeles and Paris are bidding to host the 2024 Summer Games.
  • IOC President:Thomas Bach
  • Headquarters: Lausanne, Switzerland.

NITI Aayog launches SATH Program

  • NITI Aayog has launched SATH-‘Sustainable Action for Transforming Human capital’ with the State governments for furthering the agenda of cooperative federalism. The vision of the program is to initiate transformation in the education and health sectors. The program addresses the need expressed by many states for technical support from NITI.
  • SATH program will be implemented by NITI Aayog along with McKinsey & Company and IPE Global consortium.
  • SATH aims to identify and build three future ‘role model’ states for health systems. NITI will work in close collaboration with their state machinery to design a robust roadmap of intervention, develop a program governance structure, set up monitoring and tracking mechanisms, hand-hold state institutions through the execution stage and provide support on a range of institutional measures to achieve the end objectives.
  • NITI Aayog is an advisory body that seeks to provide critical directional and strategic inputs across spectrum of key elements of policy to the centre as well as states. The Government of India has established Niti Ayog as a “Think Tank” which has no power to impose policies.

US, UK loosen grip on QS top 100 universities

  • MIT has continued its winning streak in the QS World University Rankings, holding onto the top spot for a sixth year running as the US and UK dominate the rankings once again. However, a number of institutions in both countries have slipped amid funding constraints as contenders from across the globe are gaining ground.
  • Stanford and Harvard retained their positions in second and third place, while Caltech rose one place to fourth to displace the University of Cambridge.
  • In the list, three Indian universities have featured among the top 200 universities. The Indian Institute of Technology (IIT)-Bombay 179th place, IIT-Delhi 172th place and Indian Institute of Science 190th (IISc), Bengaluru, have featured in the top 200 global universities.

Vikram Limaye to head National Stock Exchange (NSE)

  • Veteran banker Vikram Limaye is set take over as the Managing Director and CEO of National Stock Exchange (NSE). The Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) has cleared Limaye’s appointment as head of NSE provided he gives up his role in the COA.
  • He will quit the Committee of Administrators (COA) for BCCI on July 14.
  • The National Stock Exchange of India Limited (NSE) is the leading stock exchange of India, located in Mumbai. NSE has a total market capitalization of more than US$1.41 trillion, making it the world's 12th largest stock exchange as of March 2016.
  • NSE's flagship index, the NIFTY 50, the 51 stock index (50 companies with 51 securities inclusive of DVR), is used extensively by investors in India and around the world as a barometer of the Indian capital market.

Viswanathan Anand loses to Giri in Altibox chess

  • Five-time World Champion Viswanathan Anand suffered his second defeat in the Altibox Norway chess tournament after losing to Anish Giri of Holland in the fourth round. After losing to Vladimir Kramnik of Russia in the second round, Anand got double black and the Indian star was under consistent pressure from a rejuvenated Giri who had been sharing the bottom of the table with Anand at the start of the fourth round.